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Blog: The Power Grid Is Falling! The Power Grid Is Falling!

AES tries to "put lipstick on the pig" while the latest CEC generation numbers contradict AES' misleading propaganda.

AES continues to try to hoodwink the public into thinking that a new Redondo plant is critical to the grid of the future. Recently they have tried the scare tactic that San Onofre will be down, so they are even more critical. CEC power generation statistics, released this week, tell a much different story. 

This year we have had several huge heatwaves complete with a few days of Flex Alert; and, San Onofre was offline the entire time. One would expect, given AES' propaganda, that AES Redondo would have had a power production heyday. Well, the CEC numbers show that by the end of September AES had produced a whopping.....drum roll please... 6.18 percent of their capacity. I am not kidding... a paltry 6.18 percent of capacity. 

Next year two new power plants are coming online in City of Industry and El Segundo. Either of these new plants, on their own, could have easily picked up the entire AES load and still had 80 percent of their capacity plus a whole other power plant to spare.  

Oh and to add insult to injury, according the CEC, the AES Redondo run numbers are artifically inflated. It turns out our old, outdated plant stays online when unneeded because of the time and cost of powering it up and down. AES Redondo produced power (and polluted our air) when not needed simply to avoid a restart. 

Residents should cast a wary eye on the propaganda from AES, the chamberites, and AES' paid resident mouthpieces. AES will spend hundreds of thousands to try to fool residents into supporting them. They are running scared. Why else would they have changed their plans at the last minute—adding a facade around the plant and moving the whaling wall? They are trying to put "lipstick on the pig" in a desparate attempt to sway resident opinion in the upcoming Measure A vote. Do they think we are that stupid? Really?

Think about it. If AES REALLY cared about our community, why were these elements not part of their original proposal? I think the residents of Redondo are smarter than AES thinks. First AES thought we were dumb enough to believe the new plant would be hidden behind a few palm trees. They went to great lengths to find the few perspectives where the trees lined up just right to mask the new plant. They had to go out on the ocean and deep into the harbor to find these views.  

But residents didn't buy it. And, I think most will see through this latest deception as well. There is no way to hide an 80 foot tall power plant with three 140 foot smoke stacks on their small property. And there is no way to make a power plant pretty.

The bottom line is the evidence shows we don't need a new power plant. But AES will do anything to try to convince us otherwise. Don't buy it. Give generations to come a legacy of cleaner air and a waterfront free of blight. Let's give the new Shade Hotel and CenterCal's redevelopment of our waterfront the best chance of success. Rid our waterfront of this blighting, polluting behemoth forever. 

This March we will have the chance to vote to phase out the power plant. Vote for a legacy we can all be proud of. Vote to revitalize our waterfront. Vote for cleaner air for our kids. 

Vote YES on Measure A. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

L. Campeggi December 02, 2012 at 04:11 PM
AES ran at 6.18% capacity thru Sept., 2012? Mr. Tony Czuleger, did you see that? Czuleger wrote a Letter to the Easy Reader Editor two weeks ago, spouting the deceptive AES propaganda that they operated at 40% capacity. Like Czuleger, many people attending a recent AES lunch thought the same. What AES didn't tell those Redondo Beach residents is that "operating" is NOT the same as "delivering necessary electricity to the grid." And this is what AES will continue to do; like say a new plant will be cleaner because CO emissions will reduce. What they're NOT telling you on that one is that this supposedly "cleaner" power plant will dramatically INCREASE the more dangerous, Particulate Matter pollution; from 3.3 tons annually now, to up to 49.7 tons annually "operating" at their full, requested capacity of 73%. One thing is for sure: YES on Measure A means AES won't get to build a new power plant here, contaminating and blighting our community any longer. Whatever takes its' place is certain to be better for Redondo, with increased property values for AES (it's still their land with rezoning - not a taking) and the surrounding commercial and residential properties, thereby increasing revenues to the City of Redondo Beach, as well as the Redondo Beach Unified School District. When you want the truth, don't trust AES, an $18 billion company with a financial conflict of interest. For starters, go to the CEC website to review their plans; you'll find it enlightening.
Formerly CA December 03, 2012 at 02:53 AM
While the Rendondo Capacity Factor of 6% is pretty low, I hope everyone realizes that there are many factors as to *why* a particular plant runs or remains idle, other than supply/demand as Mr Light points out. One particular item is cost. AES Redondo uses old, inefficient technology and therefore to minimize costs to the ratepayer grid operators will not order the plant to run very often (akin to keeping a gas guzzler in the garage). The technology that AES wants to put in will be much more efficient and will almost certainly run more. A second consideration is congestion of the power grid - an extremely complicated subject. It has to do with where the power is being generated and used, and how much load is on particular wires and transformers in the system. They have a definite limit which must not be exceeded or else you can have a major grid failure. With San Onofre out, power was being rerouted in unusual directions to make up for the loss. This could have resulted in some congested areas of the grid, possibly keeping the Redondo plant off line simply because local areas of the transmission line had reached their load limit. I worked at an AES plant on the East Coast which would get ordered to reduce output on hot days, with electric demand very high, due to line congestion. I'm sure there are more reasons but I am not familiar enough with all the technical aspects of the Southland grid to comment. Good discussion and I've maxed out my character count!
Jim Light December 03, 2012 at 06:00 AM
San Onofre has been down and while the grid is routing power through to make up for it, that has affected the Redondo Plant run rate by about 1%. With two new plants coming online next summer in City of Industry and El Segundo, our part of the grid is well covered. ISO analyses show AES Alamitos and Huntington to be critical for the conditions you are quoting. In fact, Huntington was designated Reliability Must Run just a few months ago. They will soon be converting two turbines to synchronous generators to provide voltage stability with San Onofre down. Part of your argument is contradictory, if AES was needed with San Onofre down but the lines were "congested", a new plant would not solve that condition. The ISO and SCE are not planning any changes to AES' grid connectivity. Again, with two new plants coming online next year, all the data shows we don't need AES Redondo.
Fred Reardon December 03, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Wow, look at this study I found. It speaks to why many of us do not trust AES to care about the health and safety of our community. Summary: "Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from AES Plant." In 2010, a study, commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, quantified the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from power plants. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. Source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/AES_Cayuga_Generation_Plant It appears we should be really concerned about AES downplaying the pollution and toxic plume "fine particle pollution" that doesn’t have time to dissipate before entering our lungs. Redondo Citizens are too close to this proposed plant! AES does not own the air we breathe. Vote YES on Measure A.
L. Campeggi December 03, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Oh yes, Formerly CA. A AES-Redondo would certainly want to run a new power plant more frequently. Up to 73% of capacity according to their CEC filing in November 2012. With an INCREASE of DIRTY particulate matter pollution from 3.3 tons annually to up to 49.7 tons annually. All for a new power plant that we don't need. Doesn't make sense as there's no other benefit for our community to be gleaned from a new power plant, either. Good thing they're not in an integral grid location, haven't produced much in years, and aren't our direct (or indirect, really) source of electricity. It's a fairly simple decision to get rid of it, while providing an increase in economic value to AES for the land they own. YES on Measure A is a Win-Win for all of us. No, AES won't make the profits they want to make but they'll still have a good return on their investment, after it's reached it's useful life.

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